|   paul@paulmccrudden.com   |   August 2009  

The Head of Operations at Carluccio's phoned me. She initially told me she didn't understand what my invoice was for, so I told her it was for my time spent in Carluccio's cafes. Finally she said "it's very interesting, but the answer's no."

Not once did Carluccio's say that they valued my time spent with the company or indeed ask me about my thoughts on Carluccio's. They could have found out that I've been going to Carluccio's not just for six weeks but for about 10 years and that in that time I've spent not just a lot of time but also a lot of money with them.

In our attention economy, brands need to start valuing consumer time.



Using the data collection website Daytum I recorded time (in minutes) and cost (in £ GBP) of all my interactions as a consumer. This included the odd five minutes for lunch every few days at my favourite salad stall on Goodge Street, to spending 45 minutes in Preston train station waiting for a connection. Yep, that's 45 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

The data's not perfect of course (eg. it's not automated based on GPS), and I rounded up/down as appropriate so that I didn't completely lose my sanity. But it provides a fascinating insight into how I live my life as a consumer, and which brands steal my attention.

What's more, with only a limited time of existence on this planet, it shows me whether I'm spending my time and money wisely as a consumer. And having invoiced the companies that claim my attention, I'll soon find out how much they respect the time I spend with their brand.

Notes on the data :

  • recorded from June 15 - July 31, 2009
  • includes time and money spent with a brand
  • I split it into 3 sections for recording time: breakfast, lunch, evening/weekend/holiday, and 3 sections for costs: breakfast/lunch, evening, other
  • includes TV, computer & Wii time
  • only includes time and money transactions in the six week period - eg. I spent time at a Killers concert (recorded) but had already bought the ticket before this six weeks started (not recorded)
  • sometimes I was interacting with multiple brands/things at the same time, eg. being on the TfL tube and reading Metro newspaper - in which case I've recorded both sets of data
  • does not break down specific computer interaction, or TV shows
  • includes time spent with my partner and friends, but does not take into account their time or money spent